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[510b] of which it is a likeness?” “I certainly would.” “Consider then again the way in which we are to make the division of the intelligible section.” “In what way?” “By the distinction that there is one section of it which the soul is compelled to investigate by treating as images the things imitated in the former division, and by means of assumptions from which it proceeds not up to a first principle but down to a conclusion, while there is another section in which it advances from its assumption to a beginning or principle that transcends assumption,1 and in which it makes no use of the images employed by the other section, relying on ideas2 only and progressing systematically through ideas.” “I don't fully understand3 what you mean by this,” he said. “Well, I will try again,”

1 Cf. my Idea of good in Plato's republic, pp. 230-234, for the ἀνυπόθετον. Ultimately, the ἀνυπόθετον is the Idea of Good so far as we assume that idea to be attainable either in ethics or in physics. But it is the Idea of Good, not as a transcendental ontological mystery, but in the ethical sense already explained. The ideal dialectician is the man who can, if challenged, run his reasons for any given proposition back, not to some assumed axioma medium, but to its relation to ultimate Good, To call the ἀνυπόθετον the Unconditioned or Absolute introduces metaphysical associations foreign to the passage. Cf. also Introd. pp. xxxiii-xxxiv.

2 The practical meaning of this is independent of the disputed metaphysics. Cf. Introd. pp. xvi-xviii.

3 Cf. Vol. I. p. 79, note c on 347 A and p. 47, not f on 338 D; What Plato Said, p. 503 on Gorg. 463 D.

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